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Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology About Us

Criminal justice comprises a set of policies, realized in the institutions of courts, corrections, and policing, that promotes and seeks to sustain control, order, and justice. Students are required to take courses in criminal justice, public policy, public administration, sociology, research methods, and statistics. The goal is to produce graduates who understand crime and criminal justice policy and who embody the highest academic, professional, and ethical standards in their work and careers.

The Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at WSU blends theory and practice, affording students the opportunity to learn from leaders in the field while developing their own scholarship. Our undergraduate curriculum provides students a solid grounding in the field of criminal justice. Our graduate curriculum builds on this and challenges students to develop a deeper understanding, fostering their skills as scholars.

Faculty Addressing Real-World Problems

Department faculty have a wide range of research and teaching interests, and the department is nationally and internationally recognized for scholarship with a focus on problem-driven research that confronts both traditional and emerging challenges in the U.S. and throughout the world. Faculty members routinely lend their expertise to a broad range of local, state, national and international government agencies and nongovernmental groups. This involvement on the ‘practitioner-side’ of policy serves to enrich both faculty research and teaching.

Hands-On Teaching and Learning

Our award-winning faculty place great emphasis upon providing exceptional undergraduate and graduate programming, with a unique emphasis on research collaboration at the graduate level. These hands-on teaching strategies reflect the problem-driven approach to research and instruction emphasized by our faculty and their ability to bring real-world perspective to students in the classroom.

When it comes to understanding the global aspects of criminal justice, a hands-on approach to teaching means studying abroad. Each year, the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology offers a short-term, spring break, faculty-led study abroad program with a specific focus on criminal justice. Destinations vary, and small groups of students have thus far visited criminal justice agencies in London, and soon in Amsterdam and The Hague. This unique experience takes place within a semester-long course fulfilling a wide range of possible requirements. For more information, inquire with Sisouvanh Keopanapay.

A Proud History

The department is the oldest in the United States. It was established in 1943 as the Department of Police Science by V.A. Leonard. Dr. Leonard founded Alpha Phi Sigma, the national criminal justice honor society, and was one of the founding members of the organization that later became the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.

The department’s name was changed in 1975 to the Department of Criminal Justice. The criminal justice department merged with the Department of Political Science in 1982 (becoming the Criminal Justice Program), and was granted autonomous department status in 2011 as the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology.

Contact Us

Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology
Washington State University
Johnson Tower 701
P.O. Box 644872
Pullman, WA 99164-4872
Ph: 509-335-8611

Dr. Christine Horne

Graduate Director
Dr. Zachary Hamilton

Administrative Manager:
DeeDee Torgeson

Graduate Program Coordinator:
Rebeca Orozco

Undergraduate Academic Advisor:
Tina Krauss, Room 725 509-335-5467 (Students whose last name begins with letters: A — M; Criminal Justice is their 2nd major/2nd degree; Criminal Justice is their minor)

Sisouvanh (Sis) Keopanapay, Room 726 509-335-1204 (Students whose last name begins with letters: N — Z; Students who have questions about Internship Credits)